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First Dives with Uwatec's Galileo Sol


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#61 peterbkk

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:20 AM

Do you now the resolution of the screen?
Regards,

Hans


I can not find any data on the screen size. I am guessing that it would be about 320 pixels horizontal by about 200 vertical.

Regards
Peter

#62 peterbkk

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:34 AM

As for the heart monitor I quit using that after 20 dives or so, I really couldn't see the point of its use although it was interesting to note that my heart rate fell consistantly throughout the dives usually starting around 84 bpm and decreasing to 74 after about an hour. My resting rate is about 62 - 65 bpm.


I understand that the heart monitor, if worn, is used to adjust the NDL calculation by adding in a workload factor. This is similar to the "breathing rate" adjustment on earlier Uwatec air-integrated dive computers. I read that the heart rate monitor is a better measure of workload impact because it relates directly to blood flow, which relates directly to N2 absorption by the faster tissues.

More workload = faster heart rate = greater N2 take-up during that time.

Therefore, if you were wearing the heart monitor and swimming hard in a current during the descent or bottom-time, the Sol would reduce the NDL accordingly.

Assuming that the above-mentioned method is adding to the DSC safety margin, I do wear my heart monitor on all dives. I have become used to the curious stares and jibes about my thin black bikini top...

As you mentioned, I too like to see what my heart is doing. It usually goes up during entry and for the first part of the descent but drops a lot during the relaxing part of a dive. When I see sharks, it goes up rapidly, providing a handy marker in the dive log!

Regards
Peter

#63 rtrski

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 06:51 AM

Mares has a new computer coming out this year - backlit LCD screen with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, the Icon HD. Looks pretty sweet; not sure it has all the features of the Galileo but sure looks like computers are stepping up in recent years.

Of course, I'm still diving with an ancient console-mounted puck and can't afford either. (sigh)

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

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#64 PIG004

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:19 AM

Just got my computer and brand new transmitter back from Scubapro in Hong Kong.
Nice job and it all took only a week to send it from Qatar in the middle east and have it returned again.

Well done Scubapro, nice support.

#65 davephdv

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:32 AM

Does anyone know a source of prepared dive site maps that can be downloaded for the Sol?

I'm particularly interested in maps of the most common dive sites for Little Cayman and Socorro.

Thanks.

I see where several companies are coming out with mainstream computers with similar functions that cost over 1500$ US.

I guess the Sol has revealed a market to the Dive companies that they want in on.
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#66 CompuDude

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 01:06 PM

I picked mine up last September after my SmartTec decided to check out the 600' base of the oil rigs without me. About 70 dives on it so far, and it's been flawless and fantastic. I liked my SmartTec a lot, but always HATED the wet contacts, and the fact that there is no way for me to change the battery if needed. The Sol fixes both of those issues and then some. The screen size is fantastic!

Other than price, which was not too bad for me between pro deals and the insurance payout from my SmartTec, the only downside I can think of is the fact that there is no ideal way to convert the computer to a bungee mount, which I prefer. The strap is quite good, fortunately, but I still wish it could be attached via independent bungee loops instead, as with my compass and backup computers. (refer to lessons learned after loss of SmartTec computer)

I've never bothered with the heart rate monitor. Still sitting in the box. It's cool, in theory, but I have more than enough crap to strap to my body before I dive as it is, I really don't need another piece of gear... especially when the main purpose to that piece of gear is to make my dive shorter if I get excited.

For travel I just stick the computer in with my regs. No special treatment needed. The screen protector has a few scratches, sure, but nothing that stops me from reading the screen easily underwater, so I don't mind that.

Edited by CompuDude, 10 May 2009 - 01:07 PM.


#67 TRIBOLUBE71

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:12 AM

Peter,

When you do the service and Clean/replace o-ring what grease did you choose to use?
I was curious if it was a silicone compound or a fluorinated grease.

David


Don't let the 3 batteries influence your decision. The batteries are easily managed.

Firstly, the one in the heart monitor lasts "forever" and is not critical anyway. It will last for 2,500 hours of use and switches off as soon as it is dry. You'll probably buy a new computer before this battery dies. If not, just buy a new Polar heart monitor or dive without it. For most recreational diving, the heart monitor is not essential.

Secondly, the battery in both the computer and tank transmitter are user replaceable and reasonably easy to purchase in most large cities. I keep a spare for each in my little toolkit. They can be changed in a few minutes, as long as you know how to clean and grease an O-ring.

Thirdly, both batteries are monitored by the dive computer and the PC interface and you are given plenty of warning when they need replacing.

So, the worse case scenario, is a battery going from good to bad during a dive. That situation is not likely. But, if it happened, you would do an immediate slow ascent and an extended safety stop. Then get out of the water and replace the batteries.

So, the "battery issue" is easily managed with the normal due care and attention that you put into all your dive gear and procedures.

Regards
Peter



#68 peterbkk

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:23 AM

Peter,

When you do the service and Clean/replace o-ring what grease did you choose to use?
I was curious if it was a silicone compound or a fluorinated grease.

David


Hi David,

I have not yet changed the battery in the main computer. It seems to be lasting quite well - about 300 dives over 2 years - with 4 out of 5 bars still full. I have changed the battery in the tank transmitter (even though I learned later that I did not need to change it yet). I used the same grease supplied by Light & Motion for my video housing - only because that's the one I have in my dive tool box. I think it is a silicone grease.

Regards
Peter

#69 fforbes

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:19 PM

I just bought the Galileo Terra. The manual and Scubapro website reference only Windows in order to download their Smart Trak software, and I have a Mac. We went to the Apple website which showa a "J trak" download for the Uwatec dive computer. Can anyone tell me if I am on the right trak? ( pun intended?) I can't believe that the Subapro website makes no mention of a Mac download.

Thanks,

Fletcher
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#70 CompuDude

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:50 PM

I just bought the Galileo Terra. The manual and Scubapro website reference only Windows in order to download their Smart Trak software, and I have a Mac. We went to the Apple website which showa a "J trak" download for the Uwatec dive computer. Can anyone tell me if I am on the right trak? ( pun intended?) I can't believe that the Subapro website makes no mention of a Mac download.

jTrak was a poor country cousin to SmartTrak anyway. I wouldn't bother, personally.

You might be able to get jTrak to work with a Galileo-series computer, but you'll be much happier if you run SmartTrak under Parallels or VM Fusion. (Yes, I mean you'll need to install Windows in order to get the most out of your dive computer.) And that's IF you can get jTrak to talk to your IR adapter, which is often a stumbling block on the Mac side, unless you fork out $100 for the ScubaPro-branded adapter.

Sad situation, but true.

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if ScubaPro has dropped Mac support for the Galileo's, considering how poorly they supported them under the Smart series. I gave up jTrak with my SmartTec after playing with it for all of 10 minutes, realizing how pathetic it was compared to the Windows version. I haven't even bothered trying with my Galileo Sol.

Edited by CompuDude, 06 July 2009 - 05:52 PM.


#71 fforbes

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:03 PM

Well this is unhappy news. Thanks for the information, unpleasant though it is. I left Windows and PC's 4 years ago, and have no desire to return. Scubapro sure doesn't mention " for PC users only" when they're extolling the features of Galileo on their websites.

My old Beuchat Alladin Pro finally died on me after 19 years of loyal service ( Hey! A good dive computer SHOULD last that long!) The Galileo looked so similar I guess I expected that I could just slap this on my wrist and hop in the water. sigh.

Thanks for the news,

Fletcher
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#72 CompuDude

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:47 PM

The good news is, parallels and vmware make Windows pretty painless, as long as you don't mind devoting a few GB of hard drive space to your dive log software. Hard drives are cheap. Good dive log software is hard to come by. Moreso on the Mac side of the fence. And it's not like you're running Windows full time, only when you're actively running the dive log software.

But with parallels and vmware, you never have to see a Windows logo. Pretty slick.

I wish Uwatec would rewrite SmartTrak and make a mac-native version, but it's not likely, since it's a MS Access database on the back end, and MS hasn't seen fit to grace Macs with a compatible database.

Edited by CompuDude, 06 July 2009 - 06:48 PM.


#73 peterbkk

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:51 PM

Well this is unhappy news. Thanks for the information, unpleasant though it is. I left Windows and PC's 4 years ago, and have no desire to return. Scubapro sure doesn't mention " for PC users only" when they're extolling the features of Galileo on their websites.
Fletcher


Hi Fletcher,

Yes, this is a strange situation with Scubapro / Uwatec regarding the Mac platform. Their standard response "use JTrak" is an insult to our intelligence. JTrak doesn't work and lacks most of the features of SmartTrak. Running a Windows partition on a Mac is a waste of good disk space.

They've been blind-sided by over-simple statistics. They believe that "the 90% of PCs in the world are Windoze" applies equally to the target customers in the top-end dive-computer-using scuba diving community. Anecdotal evidence and rational logic indicates that the percentage of Mac users in their target customer base is much higher, driven by the large numbers of "independent thinkers" and photographers who dive.

I have had this dialog several times with many execs in Scubapro / Uwatec and I think I was making some headway with the previous CEO of Uwatec (himself a Mac user in his personal life). But then he left and progress stopped. (I have also been encouraging the author of MacDiveLog (http://www.macdivelog.com) to build in integration to Uwatec dive computers but the problem lies in the IR connection.

Having said that, I find that the Galileo Sol functions well enough to live with some annoyance. I run Windows XP in a small (5Gb) partition on my MacBook Pro, solely to run SmartTrak. In addition to the log book feature, it also enables personalisation / customisation of some of the dive computers functions.

But, maybe we can all help out by putting pressure on Uwatec to address this issue. Most of their main competitors all have Mac software options, even if offered by third party software vendors. If we all bombard Scubapro / Uwatec with emails on this issue, they might get their finger out and do something about this.

If this issue is important to you, I suggest you buy a competitor's offering. But, please, do us Uwatec users and favour and email to Scubapro / Uwatec (http://www.scubapro....t-us/contact-us) that you have done this.

Regards
Peter

#74 davephdv

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:00 PM

I use JTrak with my sol. works fine. The PC version is a lot prettier, but JTack covers all the basics just fine.

Initially it wouldn't work with my sol. My dealer put me in touch with Scubapro's tech guy. He e-mailed me about 4 versions before they got it to work. Works fine ever since. This was about a year ago.

I've got the PC version on one of my computers that can boot in windozes. Since they got JTrak working I haven't bothered with it though.
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#75 CompuDude

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:22 PM

I use JTrak with my sol. works fine. The PC version is a lot prettier, but JTack covers all the basics just fine.

Initially it wouldn't work with my sol. My dealer put me in touch with Scubapro's tech guy. He e-mailed me about 4 versions before they got it to work. Works fine ever since. This was about a year ago.

I've got the PC version on one of my computers that can boot in windozes. Since they got JTrak working I haven't bothered with it though.

I wouldn't mind a copy of that. Is it posted anywhere, or does that version only come from SP direct?

Mostly for curiousity, though. I have both Macs and PCs, so I'm not all that put out by running SmartTrak on one of the PCs. Even though the Macs would be a little more convenient, I didn't care for the numbers of features I had to give up with jTrak vs. SmartTrak... when I really want to pull up log data on one of my Macs I just pull the current file over to that computer and drop it on the Windows partition for SmartTrak under Parallels.

#76 davephdv

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:44 PM

See if this works.

CRobertshaw@scubapro.com

This is the guy that helped me out.
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#77 peterbkk

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:34 PM

See if this works.

CRobertshaw@scubapro.com

This is the guy that helped me out.


I have downloaded the latest version (1.1.8) from the Jtrak website. My computer is MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.5.7. The infrared dongle is from ScubaPro.

JTrak still seems quite primitive to me, and buggy. It looks like an app from the 1980s.

Two things don't work at all in JTrak for me.

1. I can not import my existing log data from SmartTrak. I exported it from SmartTrak in the TravelTrak format and then tried to import into JTrak (about 1500 dives). The import progress bar appeared but, it says "error - version not supported" even though I did an export from the latest version of SmartTrak.

2. The "dive computer settings" feature in Jtrak does not work with my Galileo Sol. It appears to connect OK but no settings window appears in JTrak.

I would love to get JTrak working properly so that I can throw away Windows XP. I will email Robert Shaw and see if he can help.

Regards
Peter

#78 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:22 PM

Bit off topic regarding the latest discussion - but an update on my experience.

I got my Galileo at the end of November, so I have had it for a little over 6 months. In that time I have done 197 dives with it. On my last trip the battery started to show one bar less than full. Does anyone have any tips on when it might need replacing? As we know from cameras - sometimes when batteries start to go sometimes they last for ages, other times die quickly.

My wireless transmitted died en route to the Red Sea for my last trip. I suspect damage in transit. Annoyingly it worked at the Scubapro diving day the week before and was dead from day 1 of a two week trip in Egypt. I was able to pick up other people's transmitters - so I suspect damage. Tried changing it to the other HP port on my MK25T, as a friend who had one that stopped working found it was the high pressure port that was blocked. I was able to borrow a contents gauge, though.

We've got the Scottish Scubapro day this weekend - so I'll get it looked at and report what the fault was.

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#79 peterbkk

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:37 AM

Bit off topic regarding the latest discussion - but an update on my experience.

I got my Galileo at the end of November, so I have had it for a little over 6 months. In that time I have done 197 dives with it. On my last trip the battery started to show one bar less than full. Does anyone have any tips on when it might need replacing? As we know from cameras - sometimes when batteries start to go sometimes they last for ages, other times die quickly.

My wireless transmitted died en route to the Red Sea for my last trip. I suspect damage in transit. Annoyingly it worked at the Scubapro diving day the week before and was dead from day 1 of a two week trip in Egypt. I was able to pick up other people's transmitters - so I suspect damage. Tried changing it to the other HP port on my MK25T, as a friend who had one that stopped working found it was the high pressure port that was blocked. I was able to borrow a contents gauge, though.

We've got the Scottish Scubapro day this weekend - so I'll get it looked at and report what the fault was.

Alex


I am a big believer in Murphy's Law. <S> Over the year's I've noticed that, no matter how well you maintain your equipment, "BIG" dive trips are a battle of attrition. Stuff just keeps breakin.

So, in my travel kit, I have a spare battery for the Sol.

The problem with your transmitter might also be battery. I also carry a spare of that battery too.

I have a small OMS content gauge that I keep in my dive bag too, just in case.

I'm off to Truk next week so I am carefully thinking about spares...

Regards
Peter

P.S. In 2007, when my Sol was new, it lost connection to the transmitter. Turned out to be a cracked antenna inside the Sol. Uwatec replaced the whole unit.

#80 CompuDude

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:08 PM

JTrak still seems quite primitive to me, and buggy. It looks like an app from the 1980s.

Two things don't work at all in JTrak for me.

1. I can not import my existing log data from SmartTrak. I exported it from SmartTrak in the TravelTrak format and then tried to import into JTrak (about 1500 dives). The import progress bar appeared but, it says "error - version not supported" even though I did an export from the latest version of SmartTrak.

2. The "dive computer settings" feature in Jtrak does not work with my Galileo Sol. It appears to connect OK but no settings window appears in JTrak.

I would love to get JTrak working properly so that I can throw away Windows XP. I will email Robert Shaw and see if he can help.

jTrak IS quite primitive. Thus my recommendation to use SmartTrak. The "latest versions" are just bug fixes and compatibility patches for the new computer, not entire re-writes adding new features. I suspect if Mr. Shaw has a more current version, you might at least get your Sol settings window to properly work, but don't count on much else.

I was never able to get my past dive info exported from SmartTrak to jTrak... yet another reason why I abandoned it. The massive lack of of feature parity, however, is why I never looked back, even though in an ideal world it would be great to have mac-native software.

Let us know if Robert Shaw has anything interesting to report...

As for Galileo transmitter reliability, I've had perfect luck and no problems, but transmitters, while fairly robust, are still electronic devices that tend to take a beating. Packing a spare just makes sense for any big trip, unless you have an analog SPG for backup that you're comfortable using. (I have both, so I tend to not bother with packing a spare transmitter... I tend to use wireless anything with suspicion.)

The transmitter is the exact same model that ScubaPro/Uwatec has been using for many years with the Smart series, however, so it's not like there are any unknown issues or problems with the design.

Edited by CompuDude, 07 July 2009 - 12:14 PM.